Helpful Tips For New Medical Marijuana Users
Many patients come to us having never consumed cannabis. You may be one of these individuals! You have a medical condition; you have your recommendation from the doctor; and now you have your medical marijuana card, but you have never used marijuana before.
Unlike traditional prescription medications, which come with specific directions such as ‘take one pill twice a day,’ using medical marijuana can be ambiguous.
Fortunately, well-known pioneers in marijuana research, Carolyn MacCallum Ethan Russo, have offered some recommendations for new medical marijuana users.
Dose Your Marijuana Carefully
Marijuana dosage must be individually determined as one patient's ideal dose may not work for another. Trial and error may be necessary to determine what works best for you. When using cannabis products for the first time, it's important to start with a small dose. Cut your capsule in half. Use a quarter dropper tincture instead of a half dropper. When using edibles such as capsules, wait up to two hours before taking more.
Document Your Marijuana Usage
Write down the name of the product and its contents. Document your dose, side-effects and benefits. With so many products, comparing them can be confusing. This can help you keep track of which products do and don't work for you.
Keeping a ‘symptom inventory’ chart can help track the response or effectiveness for each marijuana product you use for each symptom. Consider keeping a log and rate your experience from 1–10 or 1–5 stars. Use a system that is easy and makes sense to you!
Properly Store Your Marijuana Products
Marijuana should always be stored in a safe place, or in a lockbox in the home. Keep your purchases out of reach and away from children, pets, animals, and unsuspecting adults. Medical marijuana must be treated like any medication. Marijuana products should also be kept in a sealed container and stored in a cool place.
Understand Potential Side Effects
CBD-predominant products have fewer psychoactive effects and may require higher dosing to achieve relief. When looking for a product to try for the first time, especially for chronic symptoms, consider options with a higher CBD content (ratios of CBD:THC of 1:1 or higher) to minimize the potential for undesirable marijuana side-effects that may be uncomfortable for your first experience.
Nighttime Use Is Best
New marijuana users should consider starting using products in the evening or at bedtime to limit first-time adverse effects. When using cannabis containing THC, do not take first thing in the morning or during the day to avoid the possibility of side effects that will impair you the rest of the day. Always take your first dose with someone else around to help if you begin to feel uncomfortable.